Two videos today report in more depth on the violence now breaking out on the streets of Cairo, and what is and isn’t being done to stop it. Anderson Cooper of CNN and his news crew was attacked earlier by angry demonstrators, but the real violence has come from a clash between those opposed to Mubarak and what Egyptian state media describes as “pro-stability forces,” who have tried several times now to control ground in Tahrir Square. The territorial “ebb and flow” has continued for more than three hours, Cooper reports, but the Army has apparently decided to sit it out:
ABC’s Christiane Amanpour also reports from the streets of Cairo and tells of rising anti-American sentiment in the protests. Sentiment about Mubarak’s future may be changing as well, though, because of the chaos in the streets. And the Army, contra Cooper, now wants the demonstrations to end “for the love of Egypt”:
In Tahrir Square, protestors say two things. Some say that President Hosni Mubarak’s announcement Tuesday night that he will not seek reelection is not enough and that he has got to go now. Others say that although they have protested against him, they want him to leave in an orderly fashion, with dignity.
A majority, it seems, are concerned that if he leaves quickly, the economy and institutions could collapse, resulting in an explosion of crime and violence.
And so the overwhelming feeling on the street is one of fear, of how this is now going to go. If Mubarak leaves precipitously, there could be real chaos.
Mubarak’s party has sent a message on state TV regarding moves to restore law and order.
The army, in a new statement on television, is urging the protestors to go home now, “for the love of Egypt.”
Amanpour says that Barack Obama will continue to push for a quick resolution, but that may have to change. She points out that the nation’s mainstream isn’t necessarily out on the streets. The Egyptian middle class may well want a more orderly transition, perhaps especially after seeing the violence in the streets today, and may end up backing Mubarak’s plan to restore order, at least in the short term. The White House had better take care not to get too far ahead of itself.